There isn’t much to criticize Ted Thompson for these days. If you’re searching for something, it would probably be the fact that his recent high draft choices, particularly on defense, have gotten themselves injured with some frequency .
Green Bay Packers’ defenders drafted in the first three rounds since 2009 have missed 29 games. That total rises to 39 games if you count Brad Jones, a seventh round pick in 2009.
It’s not like Thompson has been drafting players that had injury issues in college. But for some reason, they get hurt once they join the Packers.
The first three picks in the 2011 draft were all pretty durable in college. Will they stay off the IR once they join the Packers? Hopefully.
Just for fun, lets review the NFL injury history of the first three picks in 2009 and 2010, then take a look at the durability of the 2011 class.
Raji was hobbled by a sprained ankle early in his rookie season. He missed two games, started only one, and never really got going. He rebounded in 2010 and now looks like one of the more promising interior defenders in the league.
Matthews has been slowed by hamstring injuries throughout each of his first two training camps. He’s only missed one regular season game, though, and is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
Offseason wrist surgery hampered Lang’s progress last season. Lang saw action in all 16 games as a rookie, but was not a factor in 2010.
Bulaga dealt with a shoulder injury after the wild card win over the Eagles, but didn’t miss any time. He played in all 16 regular season games and will hopefully do the same this season.
Neal only played in two games because of a shoulder injury. He looked good in those two games, but the Packers need him to stay healthy and contribute this season.
The strong safety tore his ACL in week four and missed the rest of the 2010 season. Like Neal, the Packers need Burnett to come back strong and compete for a starting spot in 2011.
Sherrod missed the season opener during his sophomore season at Mississippi State with an undisclosed injury. After only playing 18 snaps the following week, Sherrod was healthy the rest of his college career.
The versatile Cobb missed one full game and parts of two others with a high ankle sprain his sophomore season. He never missed another game and went on to accumulate excellent receiving, rushing and passing numbers.
Green had no significant injuries in junior college or at Hawaii. The Packers will need him to stay healthy if Brandon Jackson leaves.
It’s hard to draw any concrete conclusions from this data, but there’s one thing we can be fairly sure of; if Sherrod, Cobb and Green stay healthy, it will be fun to watch.——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .